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Album Review
Future Primitive

Future Primitive
by The Vines

Sony Music

Review Date
11th August 2011
Reviewed by
Chris Jamieson

Aussie rockers The Vines have spent the last eight years or so re-treading and recycling their breakout debut album 'Highly Evolved' to ever diminishing effect. The band's last album 'Melodia' was a joke of a record; self-parody of the lowest order.

It has been said that The Vines only have two varieties of song, the fast, energetic punk hitters ('Ride', 'Get Free') and the slower summer ballads ('Home Sick', 'Vision Valley'). And whilst this is a pretty true statement, when at their best The Vines make fantastic music, crafted to be played whenever there is a cloudless summer day to be enjoyed.

Fifth album 'Future Primitive' is the first album in quite some time where the band has mixed it up a bit. While their not making full-on changes here, they have added a few new and subtle additions to the recipe. Whilst this might not be overwhelming news, trust in the fact that anything slightly different from The Vines is nothing short of a miracle.

Song writing wise, 'Future Primitive' still sticks to that same recipe. There are of course the energetic punk ('Gimme Love', 'Black Dragon') and the ballads ('Leave Me In The Dark', 'All That You Do'). The rest has been condensed into the usual two minute nuggets that have defined the lightweight feel of the last few Vines records.

What separates this record from previous works is the fact that more attention been paid to the production and engineering. Previously the "Wham-bam-thank-you-mam" punk squall production has been thrown out in favour of a more reverb heavy approach, which gives this album a different tone than before. This works particularly well on the more melodic songs like 'A.S 4' and 'Leave Me In The Dark'.

Other minor additions like the phasing guitars on 'Candy Flippin' Girl', The sparse bass synths on title track 'Future Primitive' and the electronica and beats of 'All That You Do' succeed in making this record a bit more distinct than the previous two.

Despite what the band has gone through these many years 'Future Primitive' is an album back in the right direction for The Vines. It isn't a classic record, and it aint no ‘Highly Evolved. This is definitely a far cry better than their previous release, but all that aside, this album distinguishes itself, and provides an entertainingly nugget of blissed out garage-pop.


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